Friends of the Earth (FoE) has produced the first league table of England’s ten largest landowners, ranking each by the area of woodland they own. It says that the major landowners must use their estates to fight the climate crisis, by improving woodland cover.
In 2019, FoE stated that the UK needed to double its average woodland cover to tackle climate change and protect and restore nature. The UK is one of the least wooden nations in the EU, with only about 2% of the UK’s original woods left. Just 10% of England is covered in trees, compared with an average in the EU of about 38%.
Woods are a significant carbon sink, meaning that protecting forests and increasing tree cover is a significant step that can be taken towards carbon mitigation. The Centre for Alternative Technology and FoE have suggested that the UK should increase its tree cover to 26%, as part of steps to tackle climate breakdown.
Major landowners must improve tree cover
FoE’s league table shows that major landowners have much room for improvement.